Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada

Role

The Governor General of Canada also serves, ex officio, as the Commander-in-Chief of Canada and exercises the duties of the Head of State as the representative of Her Majesty The Queen.

The duties of the Commander-in-Chief include:

  • formalizing the appointment of the chief of the defence staff on the recommendation of the prime minister;
  • appointing Royal colonels of Canadian regiments on the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence;
  • approving new military badges and insignia;
  • visiting Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families at home and abroad;
  • presenting colours to Canadian Armed Forces units;
  • awarding military honours; and
  • signing commission scrolls.

Upon taking office, the Governor General also becomes the Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit and receives the Canadian Forces Decoration. They also become a Colonel of the Governor General's Foot Guards, the Governor General's Horse Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards.

In their capacity as Commander-in-Chief, the Governor General may wear a military uniform at events. In so doing, the Governor General wears a flag/general officer uniform with a special flag/general sleeve braid, embellished with the governor general's badge, and a large embroidered governor general's badge on the shoulder straps or boards.

For further details, visit the Governor General's website

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